Today, Thursday July 2, Jay Whaley did an hour long Blog Talk Radio
program devoted to Torches. This should now be archived and
available for download, see, blogtalkradio.com/whaleystusios
I originally felt Jay may have been a bit hard on the Little Torch,
I had even bought, but not used one. I bantered a bit with him about
it, but no matter what others presented as to how well it worked for
them, he stood his point.
I do now work at Whaley Studios and saw the torches he mentioned
arrive. he was like a kid in an unlocked Candy Shop, and laboriously
went about to change familiar torches out and replace with the new
ones. I then heard him working with a student who could not get a
gold bezel down onto a heavy silver ring. Jay took over the task,
and try as he could, was not able to get enough power and heat from
that torch, and was grumbling for the rest of the day of how
underpowered they were. He went from very happy to sadly
disappointed. He did want them to work.
That started the discussion of how many people are working with
inadequate heat because they have a very well advertised and known
torch, that fails to deliver enough heat fast enough to get the
solder to quickly flow, leading to failure.
Jay continued to search for a torch he considers fine enough for
delicate tasks and strong enough to flow solder and melt metals for
ingots. That led to the Swiss Torch he mentioned today from Otto
Frei. I also saw that one unwrap, and Jay’s amazement at the size of
some of the tips.
He apparently hooked that one up at the soldering/annealing station
over the last weekend. I was TA at the Studio on Monday, when an
experienced student came in to work. She was startled by that torch,
and asked me for help. I got it lit, but the flame was so unfamiliar
that she decided not to try to anneal her gold.
Next day, Jay’s other TA came in for Studio time and lit that torch
and was also startled. I went in and we worked together, again, we
backed off using it and called in Jay. As he did on the broadcast
today, he explained that the flame rather than being cone shaped,
was rather flat. We convinced him to put on a smaller tip. It will
take some getting used to and knowing this torch. It is top end of
the line, self igniting and impressive. A bit big for women’s hands.
Now Jay is determined to make a torch that will fill the bill, and
knowing his inventive and creative genius, I know he will. Stay
tuned for this as he has already been ordering pits and pieces, and
has begun working on it.
Today Jay put out an appeal for a very flexible black hose that was
on a Mecco Torch when he first took over this studio. If anyone has
a clue as to what it is or where it can be bought, please let Jay
know. He also had read about using Airline Tubing, and has tried it.
So far so good, but he also asked if anyone else has any experience
to share about this tubing.
As I female, with normal sized hands, excellent hand and arm
strength, and a strong grip, I have been frustrated with the torches
at the UCSD jewelry studio, and usually grip the acetylene torch way
back at the hose area, and Jay, when he sees that makes me grip the
handle properly, which causes me less control. One torch there, the
hoses, yes red and green, are so rigid and unyielding, that I get
wrist strain just trying to keep the torch in position. The hoses
want to turn it away from forward. Damn pain in the butt.
I now believe that, once again, Jay is right.